The Costa Rican Social Security System (Caja) says that over the last week, it registered four new people hospitalized with Covid-19 every hour.
As of Thursday morning, 94% of ICU beds in the public-health system were occupied, and the Health Ministry said private institutions are also experiencing above-average visitation.
“The rate of growth of infections makes our expansion efforts insufficient, thereby compromising the ability to assign a bed to Covid-19 patients due to their serious condition and also compromising care for patients with other pathologies,” said Román Macaya, Caja president.
The Caja says it has expanded its Covid-19 ICU capacity from 359 to 393 beds over recent days. Across Costa Rica, 372 coronavirus patients are in an ICU bed as of Thursday afternoon.
At this time in Costa Rica’s hospital network, Macaya said, each medical center is evaluating its available beds and how many it can reassign for Covid care.
“This will mean sacrificing care for patients with other pathologies,” he said.
About 80% of hospitalized patients are less than 70 years old, La Nación reports.
In context of record new cases and several saturated hospitals, the Costa Rican government on Thursday announced strict measures for the Central Valley in early May. Read about those restrictions here.
Costa Rica added 15 new deaths related to Covid-19 on Thursday. For context, respiratory viruses killed 23 people in Costa Rica in all of 2018.